Wednesday, December 5, 2012

'Capitalism,' 'Socialism' 2012's Most Looked-Up Words

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 11:29 AM


Spurred in large part by 2012's election rhetoric, the words "socialism" and "capitalism" topped this year's list of most looked-up words, according to Meriam-Webster.

Publishers of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary began identifying the most looked-up words back in 2003.

"We follow word trends by watching which words rise to the top of the lookup list on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis," said Meriam-Webster's editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski. "Leaving out words that are looked up in large numbers every day of every year—ubiquitous, paradigm, affect and effect, for example—what we're left with is a group of words that show spikes of interest that often correspond to current events: news, weather, sports or entertainment. This is a quantitative measure of vocabulary curiosity."

Many of the other words on this year's list were touched in some way by the elections season: democracy, globalization, marriage, bigot, meme, touche, schadenfreude and professionalism.

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